The Pearl of Africa: Uganda

The Pearl of Africa: Uganda

Most people, when travelling to Uganda, have one major highlight in mind – the highly endangered Mountain Gorilla.

It is an incredibly humbling experience to have – to get to spend precious time with the ‘Gentle Giants’.

The Mountain Gorillas are creatures of contrast in so many ways… they are huge, yet can be so gentle as to pick up a sprig leaf with the caress of their fingertips. They have the most soulful eyes, and yet are able to act like the head circus clown. They seem indestructible, but the common human cold has the potential to kill them…

While the Gorillas are undoubtedly the highlight of most itineraries, Uganda is not known as the ‘Pearl of Africa’ without grounds. The country has an embarrassment of riches to display to her visitors – ranging from Tropical Rainforests that literally form a bridge over some of the major roads, to the relatively flat and dry savannah of parts of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

From Whitewater Rafting on the Nile at Jinja (or add a bungee jump if you are looking for a complete adventurous day out!), to a leisurely game cruise with sundowners on one of the many, exotic waterways that the country has to offer. There is a spectrum of options available to you, from a leisure holiday to a jam packed adventure… it’s your choice! Why not climb the largest glaciated area on the African continent in the Rwenzori Mountains or take a relaxing swim over the equator on Lake Victoria?

Uganda is a birder’s paradise. Over half of all bird species in Africa can be found here, making it one of the richest birding destinations, with the distinct highlight being the incredibly rare, prehistoric-looking Shoebill Stork, located among the papyrus swamps. An honourable mention to the grey-crowned crane – it is the country’s national bird.

Uganda has the whole package, and having spoken to a myriad of visitors that have managed to make the ‘pilgrimage’ to the Pearl – they are generally amazed that it is not one of best-known attractions of the continent.

When we’ve asked in the past why these guests have chosen Uganda for a holiday, many of them state the Gorillas, but if you ask them why they would return, they provide you with a plethora of reasons. Most of them leave with a hunger to do more in Uganda. To experience more. To immerse themselves completely in the country that has such a wealth of experiences to offer.

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